TAL: Gameweek 2 (Division 2) - Match Reports
Recap of the action from GW 2 of Division 2.
Gameweek 2 saw some draws being played out to keep the table tight at the top but Al-Fateh were rampant once again scoring seven past Garden Boys with no reply.
Rebels FC v. Athlos United
Score: Rebels FC (2) – (2) Athlos United
Rebels FC (Riva R 30’, 57’)
Athlos United (Anup Nair 44’, 55’)
The first game of GW 2 Division 2 saw Athlos United take on Rebels FC in an all-important fixture after both teams were coming off losses during their GW 1 matches. Athlos United lost to C2FC and Rebels FC lost to Titans FC which made the 3 points up for grabs absolutely essential for either team if they wanted to climb the ladder and compete in the top tier and aim for promotion.
The match kicked off with both teams struggling to assert their dominance, Athlos had the upper hand and proved it by keeping good possession of the ball but the Rebels defense was well organized and kept away any attempts that Athlos made on goal, the first half seemed like it would end in a stalemate but Riva R the new signee of Rebels FC made his presence felt scoring for his side just before the whistle could be blown.
The second half saw a riled up Athlos on the prowl for an equalizer; their new found confidence was overwhelming to Rebels and in the 44th minute Anup Nair scored the equalizer making both the teams level. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Athlos found the conviction they needed to win the game and it was Anup Nair again that scored in the 55th minute putting Athlos ahead with just 5 minutes left.
Things seemed to be going just the way Athlos wanted but Riva R in a brilliant individual display of skill took apart the Athlos defence and scored a tremendous goal to end the game in a tie.
Man of the match: Riva R (Rebels FC)
Diablos FC v. FC Brunton
Score: Diablos FC (4) – (2) FC Brunton
Diablos FC (Rohan D 15’, 50’, John Kunnat 28’, Harshawardhan Rawoot 52’)
FC Brunton (Mohit Ahuja 13’, 31’)
The second game was between Diablos FC and FC Brunton in which a win for Brunton would put them in a comfortable spot with 2 wins whereas a win for Diablos was absolutely crucial considering their defeat against Mercurial FC last week. Brunton were in exceptional form and were looking to add to their points tally while Diablos brought their A-game with their full squad.
The match got off to a slow start but saw Brunton put the pedal to the metal when Mohit Ahuja found the back of the net in the 13th minute but Diablos were quick to respond with Rohan D scoring a goal just 2 minutes later.
The game seemed like a battle of tug of war until John Kunnat stepped in and gave his side the lead just 2 minutes before the half time whistle. Brunton were not about to let the game slip away so easily and they proved just that when Mohit Ahuja scored his 2nd goal just a minute into the second half.
And with things all back to square one the game was up for grabs for either team but things quickly went the way Diablos wanted when Rohan D scored his second goal in the 50th minute and his teammate Harshawardhan Rawoot put the game in the bag 2 minutes later giving his side the win.
Both teams have similar looking numbers on the table and will be looking to take the lead come game week 3.
Man of the match: Rohan D (Diablos FC)
Mercurial FC v. FC Sparta
Score: Mercurial FC (1) – (3) FC Sparta
Mercurial FC (Jaipal Pai 19’)
FC Sparta (Vivian Pavamani 6’, Benjamin George 40’, Chandan Reddy 46’)
The third game was between Mercurial FC and FC Sparta and much like the Diablos and FC Brunton match this match too had similar stakes on the line since Mercurial FC were coming off a win from their previous match and had their spirits high while FC Sparta were coming off a disappointing defeat against Brunton having had the lead and then losing it, a win was simply a must in their case.
The match kicked off and it was evident that Sparta were out to prove a point and redeem themselves after last week’s upset with Vivian Pavamani breaking the deadlock just 6 minutes into the game followed by continued attacking play putting Mercurial on the defensive early on in the game.
It took some time for Mercurial to find their footing but once they did they reciprocated with a goal courtesy of Jaipal Pai in the 19th minute. Sparta were keen on not having a repeat performance from the previous week and with the scores all tied after the first half the locker room strategies came into play and it was clear that the boys decided to give it their all as the second half saw a different FC Sparta that clearly had the Mercurial boys overwhelmed as they were desperately trying to create opportunities.
Sparta, on the other hand, seemed to create opportunities with ease resulting in a goal by Benjamin George in the 40th minute and 6 minutes later Chandan Reddy added to the tally giving Sparta their much-deserved win putting them on the right track after an unfavourable start to their season.
Mercurial will need to revisit their tactics if they are to compete against the stronger teams in the Division.
Man of the match: Chandan Reddy (FC Sparta)
Emdee Al-Fateh v. Garden Boys FC
Score: Emdee Al-Fateh (7) – (0) Garden Boys FC
Emdee Al-Fateh (Shariq Sheriff 4’, Stalin Daniel 23’,Johnathan Piers 25’, Nihal Colaco 26’,47’, Lochan Nandish (OG) 50’, Shariq Sheriff 57’)
The game between Al-Fateh and Garden Boys FC had the promise of being an interesting fixture considering the good performance Garden Boys put up against BFE United the previous week but the fact that they were up against Division 2 favourites Al-Fateh would mean that they had to give it more than their best or would end up being made examples of by the mighty side.
The match kicked off and Garden Boys were soon faced with the full force of the Al-Fateh attack, Shariq Sheriff opened the floodgates just 4 minutes into the game with a spectacular goal after which Al-Fateh passed the ball around thwarting away any attempt the Garden Boys made towards goal.
Al-Fateh’s wall Nikhil Das was not playing the game but his absence didn’t seem to slow the squad down with all the players executing their role to perfection. Al-Fateh’s mainstays Stalin Daniel, Johnathan Piers and Nihal Colaco scored three back to back goals in a span of 3 minutes putting their opponents in a mental state of defeat even before the end of the first half.
The second half had Al-Fateh in a more than comfortable position leaving them dictating terms while Garden Boys tried their best to turn things around.
Nihal Colaco scored a spectacular in the 47th minute adding to the tally and just when things seemed like it couldn’t get any worse Lochan Nandish had his morale crushed when he deflected the ball into his own net in the 50th minute.
With 10 minutes left on the clock and some rather relaxed gameplay by Al-Fateh presented them with one more opportunity before the final whistle which was comfortably put away by Shariq Sheriff giving his side not only the win but also the much-needed goal difference which will come into play later on in the league.
Garden Boys need to get over this defeat and focus on the games to come if they are to continue the winning form they displayed prior to this game.
Man of the match: Nihal Colaco (Emdee Al-Fateh)
C2 FC v. Titans FC
Score: C2 FC (1) – (1) Titans FC
C2 FC (Eric N 58’)
Titans FC (Akshay Kukke 47’)
The match between C2 FC and Titans FC had a certain David and Goliath feel towards it with C2 FC being an established club with much more experience on their hands whereas Titans FC are a group of college kids that played together in college but played good football.
Both teams were coming off massive wins from their previous game weeks and this fixture would prove to be crucial as the league progressed and was also deemed the match of the day.
The match kicked off with C2 FC dominating possession of the ball using their size to their advantage. Titans were clearly taken aback by their formidable opponents and just weren’t able to find their usual flow, they were forced to go on the defensive which is quite the opposite of what they normally opt for.
C2 FC bombarded the Titan box with shot after shot but nothing amounted to a goal thanks to some brilliant keeping from Ishan Samantha and lack of accuracy from the C2 strikers.
The first half ended in a stalemate and it was clear that some form of strategic change had to be made since neither side could make the most of their opportunities. The second half saw a revitalised Titans switch up their play putting C2 on the defensive.
Anirudh Krishnadas with his exceptional vision and Akshay Kukke with his quick feet were on a mission to crack the C2 defence and in the 47th minute that’s exactly what happened with Kukke dribbling past the defensive line and tucking the ball into the left bottom corner to put his side in the lead.
Titans should’ve tightened up their defence but instead were on the prowl for more goals which gave C2 the chance on the counter attack followed by what some called a brilliant tackle but the referee called a foul in the box giving C2 a godsend chance in the 58th minutes with 2 minutes to spare.
Eric N rightfully stepped up for his team and smashed the ball into the back of the net denying Titans their well-earned 3 points and giving his side a point for the draw.
Man of the match: Akshay Kukke ( Titans FC)
FC Kudlu v. BFE United
Score: FC Kudlu (5) – (0) BFE United
FC Kudlu (Mark Nghaite 1’, 21’, 22’, Sanoop NV 4’, Ashish PS 19’)
The last match of the day saw FC Kudlu face off against BFE United.
FC Kudlu had the misfortune of facing a strong team like Al-Fateh in their first match where in despite a stellar performance they ended up losing the match as well as their morale and were looking to change things around and return to their winning ways while BFE suffered a disappointing loss in the hands of the Garden Boys which left them in a vulnerable position as they searched for the momentum required to get going.
The match began and it took hardly a minute for Kudlu to show BFE that they meant business when star striker Mark Nghaite scored a beautiful goal making it look all too easy in the process, hardly 3 minutes later Sanoop NV added to the tally and it was evident that Kudlu were back to their winning ways.
BFE were put on the defensive against their choice and struggled to keep the Kudlu attacks at bay, the struggle eventually fell through when Ashish PS put one in the back of the net in the 19th minute giving his side a comfortable lead.
What followed that can only be described as a treat to the eyes for all that were present at the time when Mark Nghaite put on a spectacular show dribbling the ball with his magical feet dazzling the opponents and spectators alike and in a span of 2 minutes he netted 2 back to back goals putting the game in the bag for his side with time left for the first half to end.
The second half saw Kudlu take it easy and concentrate on keeping possession of the ball, BFE were stunned and helpless and all they could do was try and prevent more goals for their opponents by focusing on defense which much to their surprise they managed to do and the game ended with the same result that it did in the first half. Kudlu can safely say mission accomplished while BFE has some work to do if they want to turn things around before it’s too late!
Man of the match: Mark Nghaite (FC Kudlu)